Like Kelvin, in the end I was glad I was there. I didn’t particularly look forward to it – too much angst and too many false starts for that.
So what did I learn? Hard to say really. I think the witnesses whom I listened to reminded me of the – in the best sense – ordinariness of faithful gay relationships. I remember thinking the same sitting in a restaurant in a gay district of San Francisco. Ordinary, everyday people getting on with their lives.
You can’t do everything in just one event. But there are at least two other aspects to this. One is the need to understand and find a way of responding to the anger, passion, hurt, sense of exclusion – yesterday was necessarily too cautious for that. The other is Malcolm Round’s point – agreeably made, I thought – that the fact that we have all been agreeable does not mean that we agree.
But for now – thanks particularly to the witnesses and to the organisers.
And I’ll go on trying to deal with some of the specifics through the comments on my Conspiracy blog of a while back. I have learnt something else from that. Face to face engagement is the only way of dealing with the feelings – Kelvin’s tears tell us that. I’ve been shy of blogging about it because of who is listening in. But the blog does give you the chance to reflect for a day or two on a reply – so there’s a chance of measured dialogue with a bit of space. And the fact that we know one another means that it can’t be passion-free either.